New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction

  • Title: New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction
  • Author: Kingsley Amis
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 177
  • Format: Hardcover
  • New Maps of Hell A Survey of Science Fiction Based on Amis series of six lectures on science fiction in New Maps of Hell discussion emphasizes the satirical and dystopian elements in science fiction rather than being primarily about techn
    Based on Amis series of six lectures on science fiction in 1959, New Maps of Hell, discussion emphasizes the satirical and dystopian elements in science fiction rather than being primarily about technology.

    • ☆ New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction || ↠ PDF Download by ☆ Kingsley Amis
      177 Kingsley Amis
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ New Maps of Hell: A Survey of Science Fiction || ↠ PDF Download by ☆ Kingsley Amis
      Posted by:Kingsley Amis
      Published :2019-06-03T14:20:57+00:00

    About Kingsley Amis


    1. Sir Kingsley William Amis, CBE was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher He wrote than twenty novels, three collections of poetry, short stories, radio and television scripts, and books of social and literary criticism He fathered the English novelist Martin Amis.Kingsley Amis was born in Clapham, Wandsworth, Couty of London now South London , England, the son of William Robert Amis, a mustard manufacturer s clerk He began his education at the City of London School, and went up to St John s College, Oxford April 1941 to read English it was there that he met Philip Larkin, with whom he formed the most important friendship of his life After only a year, he was called up for Army service in July 1942 After serving in the Royal Corps of Signals in the Second World War, Amis returned to Oxford in October 1945 to complete his degree Although he worked hard and got a first in English in 1947, he had by then decided to give much of his time to writing.Pen names Robert Markham William Tanner


    142 Comments


    1. I could barely put down this wonderful essay by the late Kingsley Amis, who turns out to have had exactly the same prejudices about science-fiction as I do. From the identity of the first known SF story (Plato's Critias, what else?), glancing at The Tempest with its astonishingly durable mad-scientist-and-beautiful-daughter combo, through the inexplicably addictive quality of Jules Verne's horrible prose, past the weirdness of 30s pulps and up to the delights of what was then the cutting edge - [...]

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    2. This has been possibly one of the hardest books to categorise that I have read in recent times. Let me explain.The book is based around a series of lectures Amis gave in the early 60s. He himself a fan of science fiction, although openly admitting he is neither an expert not a professional in this field chose to give his views on the subject.Now on first glance you would assume this would the source of major consternation - after all someone who does not know the subject putting it under scrutin [...]

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    3. anybody that likes Lit Crit (and that's everybody, right?) hs got to read this. Then read the books he touches on, then read his own novels.

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    4. The first truly critical analysis of science fiction by an author better known for his work outside the science fiction field. Amis begins with a brief history of science fiction and its origins in the pulp magazines and brings the reader up to date (for the time). Along the way he gives synopsis of science fiction stories he approves of, and more often than not ones he does not approve of. He then differentiates the types of science fiction stories, one of which is the "universal" (my term) sci [...]

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    5. Kingsley Amis (1922-1995) wrote in 1960 i think is the first serious essay on the world of science fiction,ovously it is outdated but yet it contains some gems.The book beguins with the primitive history with the names between others more anciet of Jules Verne,H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Haggard and more, then follows with the less serious writes in pulp magazines and finally when the sf became a mature and serious genre of mass diffusion ,the autor focusses more on the sociological and political [...]

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    6. Dated? Yes. Is it a brave subject to tackle and defend at the close of the 1950s --unlike a certain, albeit wonderful author who in 2015 still shuffles behind the spec word--absolutely. And once again, this supposedly awful misogynist I've been reading about flays my expectations by citing two feminist rants in pulp SF magazines as proof of the genre's value (OK, not because they're feminist exactly, but because a reader of westerns wouldn't take to the same amount of digression on frontier ethi [...]

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    7. This was hard to rate. On the one hand, it is very dated; ironically, perhaps, a 50+-year-old critique of SF suffers from some of the same stale-dating that 50+-year-old SF itself suffers from. Furthermore,despite its overall pro-SF agenda, it is perhaps just a shade too eager to adopt a semi-apologetic tone for treating such generally puerile and stylistically sterile work seriously. On the other hand, it is probably the first serious book-length critique of SF, certainly the first such by some [...]

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    8. This 1960 book is an interesting and engaging work in the history of science fiction studies. Kingsley Amis (1922 - 1995) was a noted English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher; he was the author of Lucky Jim , The Green Man, and much more. A life-long science fiction fan, he decided with this book to act as something of an emissary, attempting to bring a better understanding and appreciation of science fiction to mainstream readers. "Science fiction is not tomfool sensationalism," he says earl [...]

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    9. It has taken me 30 years to get round to taking this out of my to be read plies but it still holds up as pretty much the definitive starting point for anyone wanting to analyse SF as a literary phenomenon. There are some places where it is dated. For instance a tendency to seek to require a clear technology element to separate SF from fantasy, or where he welcomes a move away from aliens being stereotypical bad guy BEMS to being often more sympathetically portrayed whereas since that time many a [...]

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    10. From Brilliant SF books that got away:"Robert May, former UK chief scientific adviser: “This is the book that made science fiction grow up. It’s a scholarly review that takes science fiction seriously – which is how I think it should be.”Though best-known for his mainstream novels, Kingsley Amis was an avid science fiction reader, and his literary criticism on the genre, New Maps of Hell, was published in 1960. Spanning the works of masters like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, as well as to [...]

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    11. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.There Are no Golden Ages: "New Maps of Hell" by Kingsley Amis “No wife who finds her husband addicting himself to science fiction need fear that he is in search of an erotic outlet, anyway not an overt one.” In "New Maps of Hell" by Kingsley Amis To put it in another context, imagine I'd be teaching F. Scott Fitzgerald to undergraduates, some of whom would be of African descent. Do we look at the casual racism found in the books [...]

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    12. Amis's book, published in 1960, is a set of six critical essays on the subject of science fiction - as the genre existed at that time - and its satirical, predictive and allegorical properties. In 2016, this is a fairly good if somewhat academic analysis of what science fiction was and is still today. But for me, who started reading sci-fi in 1960 in the 5th grade (no, not Tom Swift, Jr. - Robert Silverberg and Poul Anderson), New Maps of Hell was more of a nostalgic stroll down memory lane. Onc [...]

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    13. This book about science fiction is probably aimed more at people who are interested in SF but have never really read any of it, rather than at true SF aficionados. But I think the author has interesting things to say on the subject for all audiences. I was particularly intrigued by the way Amis compares SF to jazz, as a medium or genre with an underground appeal that the mainstream and establishment were a bit sniffy about. The book is very early so it is somewhat limited in what it looks at, bu [...]

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    14. In some ways, this is very dated because Sci-Fi has moved on so much, and yet it still reads true because the spirit and attitude of the genre remains what it always was, and a lot of what I read seemed to describe exactly how the subculture has developed into the 21st century.

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    15. It was a book of it's time, and yet continues to tell the trials and tribulation of science fiction authors. If you are a serious student of speculative fiction, this remains a must-read (if you can find a copy that's not falling apart).

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    16. A really interesting study of science fiction before genre fiction was widely accepted into the literary canon. Amis' style is engaging and his enthusiasm is very evident throughout.

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    17. I had a chapter in my dissertation entitled 'Hell's cartographers'. Oh! I thought I was so clever.

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    18. Interesting in bits and chunks, but not often enough (and not concise enough) for such a slim book. But I wish more books like this (surveys of the landscape of sci-fi) existed.

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    19. Kingsley Amis is a man looking for sex in all the wrong places, that is to say in the SF of the 1950s. He first introduces the subject in chapter 3, only to quickly conclude that, “No wife who finds her husband addicting himself to science fiction need fear that he is in search of an erotic outlet, anyway not an overt one.” In spite of the chapter’s title, “New Light on the Unconscious” Amis does not attempt any explication of the non-overt sexuality in SF. Instead he launches, for som [...]

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    20. Sample quote (on how the magazines in which SF stories were typically published might be off-putting to many potential readers): "Those awful covers and crackpot advertisements give an uneasy sense of the gum-chewing adolescents and lower-class laboratory-floor-sweepers who must like the stuff, and I myself fully appreciate the destructive force of an unflattering notion of one's fellow readers whenever I pick up Jane Austen or DH Lawrence."Amis was being consciously a bit unconventional in choo [...]

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    21. If there was a big difference between the 1950s and the 1960s then this book had something to do with it. Amis is clever and well read in the genre and he still has enough of the angry young man communist party member in him to side with Galaxy over Astounding and with The Space Merchants over Space Opera. Hard to imagine that this is the same guy who would later be all hawkish on Vietnam. Would the Amis of 1968 have praised Alfred Elton Van Vogt? Even here Amis seems to be dissing the bug-eyed- [...]

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    22. I've wanted to read this book ever since I first read about in the mid-70s. I guess it was inevitable that I'd be disappointed now in a book about SF written in 1960, not as a history (which is what I thought I would get here) but simply as a "state of sci-fi" survey (which is exactly what it says it is in the subtitle). His tone is almost always one of mild embarrassment that he is defending this stuff, and that's fairly off-putting from the get-go. He frequently discusses stories without bothe [...]

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    23. Cogent and interesting overview of K-Am's thoughts re Sci Fi. Especially interesting in the light of how the field developed after this came out.

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    24. An entertainingly written early (1960) survey of science fiction by an author not normally associated with the genre. While I can't say that his critical insights were all that profound (or frequent), this does have some historical importance as one of the first attempts (at least that I am aware of) to take the genre seriously. And Amis' style is certainly witty and quintessentially British in its remarkable use of understatement.

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    25. Interesting but dated.

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